Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) - Symptoms
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
symptoms tend to start gradually. Often, hormone changes that lead to PCOS
start in the early teens, after the first menstrual period. Symptoms may be
especially noticeable after a weight gain.
With PCOS, you may
have only a few symptoms or many symptoms. It is common for PCOS symptoms to be
mistaken for other medical problems.
Early symptoms of PCOS include:
- Few or no
menstrual periods . This can range from less than nine
menstrual cycles in a year (more than 35 days between
cycles) to no menstrual periods.2 Some women with
PCOS have regular periods but are not ovulating every month. This means that
their ovaries are not releasing an egg each month.
- Heavy, irregular vaginal bleeding. About 30% of women with PCOS have this
- Hair loss from the scalp and
hair growth (hirsutism) on the face, chest, back, stomach, thumbs, or toes.
About 70% of women in the United States with PCOS complain of these hair
problems caused by high
- Acne and oily skin, caused by high
- Depression or mood swings.
Living with PCOS symptoms can affect your sense of
well-being, sexual satisfaction, and overall quality of life. This too can lead
to depression.5 For more information, see the topic
Depression in Children and Teens.
PCOS symptoms that may develop
High blood pressure may be more common in women who have
PCOS, especially if they are very overweight. Your doctor will check your blood
The most common reasons that first bring women with
PCOS to a doctor include:
- Menstrual problems.
- Male-type hair
growth (hirsutism) on the face and
- Weight gain or upper body